Exploring Eye-Gaze Wheelchair Control

Jacopo M. Araujo, Guangtao Zhang, John Paulin Paulin Hansen, Sadasivan Puthusserypady

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Eye-gaze may potentially be used for steering wheelchairs or robots and thereby support independence in choosing where to move. This paper investigates the feasibility of gaze-controlled interfaces. We present an experiment with wheelchair control in a simulated, virtual reality (VR) driving experiment and a field study with five people using wheelchairs. In the VR experiment, three control interfaces were tested by 18 able-bodied subjects: (i) dwell buttons for direction commands on an overlay display, (ii) steering by continuous gaze point assessment on the ground plane in front of the driver, and (iii) waypoint navigation to targets placed on the ground plane. Results indicate that the waypoint method had superior performance, and it was also most preferred by the users, closely followed by the continuous-control interface. However, the field study revealed that our wheelchair users felt uncomfortable and excluded when they had to look down at the floor to steer a vehicle. Hence, our VR testing had a simplified representation of the steering task and ignored an important part of the use-context. In the discussion, we suggest potential improvements of simulation-based design of wheelchair gaze control interfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2020
Article number16
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-7135-3
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications - Stuttgart , Germany
Duration: 2 Jun 20205 Jun 2020


ConferenceACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications
SeriesAcm Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications


  • Gaze interaction
  • Eye-tracking
  • Gaze control
  • Vehicle control
  • Wheelchair
  • Virtual reality
  • Simulation
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Locked-in syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (MeSH) nervous system disease, muscle disease pathology


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